The World Food Program (WFP) is officially partnering with WeRobotics to develop co-ordination mechanisms to guide the safe and effective use of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) in response to humanitarian disasters.
WFP was also one of the first humanitarian organisations to explore the use of UAVs back in 2007, stated WeRobotics. The need for co-ordination mechanisms is absolutely imperative given the increasing use of UAVs following major disasters, said the firm, adding that the lack of formal co-ordination mechanisms is already presenting ‘serious problems’ during relief efforts.
A statement from WeRobotics explained: “This year-long partnership with WFP will comprise four experts meetings coupled with disaster simulations in Peru, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia and Myanmar. Each meeting will convene key stakeholders from the host country including participants from government, civil society and the private sector. The purpose of these meetings is to develop practical co-ordination mechanisms by taking a bottom-up approach and then testing these mechanisms by applying them in disaster response simulations.”
There are six ‘pillars’ to the global effort to build more effective humanitarian co-ordination systems that will form the basis of the discussions at the experts meetings, said WeRobotics: partnership frameworks; tools and solutions; technical and data standards; policy and regulation; community engagement; and advocacy and communications. The firm hopes that by the process will result in ‘jointly developed formal and practical UAV co-ordination mechanisms to enable the safe and effective use of UAVs in disaster response’.